Everton have posted new photos and provided additional details of the updates that have taken place at Goodison Park over the summer. As detailed by Tom last week, a large banner of the always smartly-dressed manager Roberto Martinez has been put up on the Park End stand. The banner also has the phrase "solo lo mejor", Spanish for "only the best". Apparently the giant poster will be backlit and will be changed as the season progresses. Still, it's a great mural to start the campaign with and it's a nice way to give a different take on the best slogan in the game.
The mural is just the tip of the changes at the stadium as the club has had to rebrand all of Goodison. The club has reverted back to a more classic-looking crest chosen by the fans after last season's cartoonish failure. Other noticeable changes include new floodlights which were needed to meet new standards set by both the Premier League and UEFA. The club claims that the new lights will lead to a better viewing experience on television as the pitch will be brighter and there should be no flickering picked up by the cameras. Going forward, if you notice the brightness changing during the game, don't blame the club, blame your television provider.
Other updates that will affect the fans include updated hospitality lounges, restrooms in the lower Bullens concourses and new LED boards on the pitch perimeter so they can generate more revenue. The stadium's television gantry has also been expanded to allow more access to broadcasters.
The players are also benefiting from the renovations. The Blue's dressing room has been updated and even more important, the Desso pitch which was installed last summer is now ready to go. For those not familiar with Desso, it is a natural grass pitch combined with artificial fibers that comprise approximately 3% of the playing field. The fibers are supposed to bind with the grass which makes the pitch stronger, recover quickly and drain fast. Most premier league teams have these types of pitches installed and they are supposed to be easier on the player's bodies.
After having just one home match in the preseason fans are likely anxious to see the changes to the stadium as well as the new additions to the team. They will get their chance to see both on August 23rd as the Toffee's play Arsenal in their home opener at 5:30 PM BST/12:30 PM EST.
The press release with additional photos can be found here.